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Fishing Access Upgraded at Lanesboro’s Historic Dam

By David Shaffer, July 19, 2023

Recent improvements to the Lanesboro Dam on the South Branch of the Root River will give better access to canoes, kayaks, drift boats and other small craft. (Photo by Luke Pfeffer)

Fishing Access Upgraded at Lanesboro’s Historic Dam


LANESBORO–Anglers who fish the South Branch of the Root River in Lanesboro will find improved access just below the City’s historic dam. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in April added rock to protect the riverside walkway where anglers like to fish, regraded banks, replanted grass and improved the launch site. Now, anyone with a kayak, canoe, drift boat or other small craft has an easy way to get on the river. It’s classified as a pedestrian access, not a full boat launch, but is a big improvement over the old access.

The project was a cooperative effort of the DNR Parks and Trails Division and the City of Lanesboro. The earthmoving work was done by the DNR Fisheries habitat crew based in Lanesboro, which has heavy equipment and experience with stream bank projects.

Jim Melander, supervisor of the habitat crew, said it may return in the fall for additional bank work just downstream. Separately, Minnesota Trout Unlimited recently won state Legacy Amendment funding to restore trout habitat from the Lanesboro dam downstream approximately 3,000 feet to the end of city-owned land.

The project also would remove invasive box elders, convert eroding banks to low benches and improve angler access to that stretch. MNTU will coordinate the project with the City of Lanesboro and DNR. The work could be done in 2024 or 2025.


This article first appeared in the Trout Unlimited Driftless Hotline and is reprinted with permission.



David Shaffer is a retired Star Tribune reporter who lives in Lanesboro and serves on the board of the Win-Cres Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

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